Following a packed Gullivers show in July, Manchester bi-monthly cabaret show Pen:Chant sees out the summer in style by welcoming a stellar cast to Gorilla.
There’s a hip hop feel to the line-up, with Bellatrix and Soweto Kinch standing out in the headlining slots, while support is supplied by Salford-sprouted sketch ensemble Gein’s Family Giftshop. All have made a habit of taking home the silverware from awards ceremonies.
With MOBOs aplenty and a Mercury Award shortlisting for his debut LP, Conversations With The Unseen, Soweto Kinch’s dexterity with the alto sax has been well recognised across the jazz world and beyond. Add to that his proficiency with the mic as an MC, through which he rubs shoulders with artists such as Goldie, Akala and Ms Dynamite, and welcome to Manchester should be a strong one. The London-born Birmingham native also curates the Live Box jam sessions, competes in Don’t Flop rap battles, and his 2013 concept album written for the stage, The Legend of Mike Smith, shows his continuing desire to push the boundaries of his art.
Bellatrix is equally adept across a range of creative platforms, whether rapping and singing, beatboxing or playing solo jazzy compositions with stand-up bass. Being named after the feminine form of the Latin for warrior, Bellatrix lives up to her billing with performances that pack a punch. She has a mantelpiece filled with World and UK beatboxing awards to prove it, including leading the way as the first female beatboxer to enter the UK championships, when she reached the final aged only 17. Since then, she’s written and recorded vocal pieces with The Boxettes and lent her formidable skills to Dizraeli and the Small Gods.
Warming up will be the critically acclaimed sketch group Gein’s Family Giftshop. Formed on the Salford side of the Irwell while soul-searching after university, they boast a Best Newcomer nomination from Foster’s Comedy Awards at Edinburgh Festival 2014, before going a step further by claiming Chortle’s Best Newcomer gong in 2015, a year which also saw their craft on Sky Arts and BBC Radio Wales. They riff on topics from missing dogs to paranormal office meetings, with a canny knack for comic plot twists and unexpected punchlines.
The next Pen:Chant takes place at Gorilla on Wednesday 21 September, 2016, featuring performances by Soweto Kinch, Bellatrix and Gein’s Family Giftshop, and hosted by Ben Mellor.
Tickets are available for £6 (supported rate), £9 (standard rate) or £12 (sponsored rate) from penchant.org.uk
54-56 Whitworth Street